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An investigation of the spatial semantics of Chiapas Zoque, a Mixe-Zoquean language of southern Mexico

Mcdermott, Luke

[Thesis]. Manchester, UK: The University of Manchester; 2018.

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Abstract

In this thesis, I investigate the linguistic resources and strategies used to describe spatial concepts such as location orientation and motion in the variety of Chiapas Zoque (CZ; Mixe-Zoquean) spoken in the southern Mexican town of Ocotepec, Chiapas. This inves- tigation is the first of its kind for a Mixe-Zoquean language and represents a significant increase in the descriptive analysis of Chiapas Zoque, which can reasonably be described as an under-documented language. One of three principle focuses of this investigation is the semantics of motion roots in CZ. To this end it was found that change of location relative to a reference location/object is encoded exclusively within a paradigm of 12 verbal roots all of which have punctual, change of state-like semantics. Furthermore, two of these roots are identified as encoding what Levinson and Wilkins (2006) have termed a change of locative relation, as a result of which they do not entail the motion of their absolutive argument. The second key theme of my investigation is the use and con- ceptual structure of the linguistic frames of reference (FoRs) used by speakers of CZ in Ocotepec. A notable feature in this area of investigation is the di culty of categorising the slope-based FoR used in Ocotepec according to the system of classification proposed by the MesoSpace project (see O'Meara and Perez Baez (2011) for an overview). Specifi- cally, its conceptual structure suggests that the absolute and geomorphic FoRs represent two ends of a conceptual continuum. Finally, I have provided a first detailed discus- sion of the phenomenon of extrinsic FoRs that can not feature in locative statements in which a Ground is linguistically encoded and must therefore appear in Groundless locative statements when being used to locate a Figure. I argue that these represent an alternative strategy for expressing descriptions of location featuring extrinsic FoRs. I also propose that a class of locative statement that has previously been classified as examples of the direct (egocentric, intrinsic) FoR are in fact Groundless instances of the relative (egocentric, extrinsic) FoR.

Bibliographic metadata

Type of resource:
Content type:
Form of thesis:
Type of submission:
Degree type:
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree programme:
PhD Linguistics
Publication date:
Location:
Manchester, UK
Total pages:
279
Abstract:
In this thesis, I investigate the linguistic resources and strategies used to describe spatial concepts such as location orientation and motion in the variety of Chiapas Zoque (CZ; Mixe-Zoquean) spoken in the southern Mexican town of Ocotepec, Chiapas. This inves- tigation is the first of its kind for a Mixe-Zoquean language and represents a significant increase in the descriptive analysis of Chiapas Zoque, which can reasonably be described as an under-documented language. One of three principle focuses of this investigation is the semantics of motion roots in CZ. To this end it was found that change of location relative to a reference location/object is encoded exclusively within a paradigm of 12 verbal roots all of which have punctual, change of state-like semantics. Furthermore, two of these roots are identified as encoding what Levinson and Wilkins (2006) have termed a change of locative relation, as a result of which they do not entail the motion of their absolutive argument. The second key theme of my investigation is the use and con- ceptual structure of the linguistic frames of reference (FoRs) used by speakers of CZ in Ocotepec. A notable feature in this area of investigation is the di culty of categorising the slope-based FoR used in Ocotepec according to the system of classification proposed by the MesoSpace project (see O'Meara and Perez Baez (2011) for an overview). Specifi- cally, its conceptual structure suggests that the absolute and geomorphic FoRs represent two ends of a conceptual continuum. Finally, I have provided a first detailed discus- sion of the phenomenon of extrinsic FoRs that can not feature in locative statements in which a Ground is linguistically encoded and must therefore appear in Groundless locative statements when being used to locate a Figure. I argue that these represent an alternative strategy for expressing descriptions of location featuring extrinsic FoRs. I also propose that a class of locative statement that has previously been classified as examples of the direct (egocentric, intrinsic) FoR are in fact Groundless instances of the relative (egocentric, extrinsic) FoR.
Thesis main supervisor(s):
Thesis co-supervisor(s):
Language:
en

Institutional metadata

University researcher(s):

Record metadata

Manchester eScholar ID:
uk-ac-man-scw:313336
Created by:
Mcdermott, Luke
Created:
6th February, 2018, 15:07:41
Last modified by:
Mcdermott, Luke
Last modified:
2nd March, 2018, 10:30:09